Planning for Paris

April 9, 2018

Through improved climate change adaptation planning, countries across the world trigger climate actions to reach the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Our final destination is clear: we want a world without hunger, a world without inequalities, and a world without fear. We want to protect our people and our planet from rising seas and rising temps. We want to insulate our economies and institutions from increases in extreme weather events, droughts and floods, mass migration, war and famine.

We know where we want to go. Now we need to roll up our sleeves and find out how to get there.  

In 2015, countries signed on to a global agreement in Paris. Key to this were the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), commitments by each country on what they will do to support climate action.

For many countries, adaptation to climate change featured as priority in their NDCs. Instruments such as National Adaptation Plans and long-term strategies provide the way.

So how do we deliver on this? The key here is detailed planning on local, national and international levels, and building the strong institutions, policies and frameworks we need to reach the goals outlined in these global accords. Feedback between local, national and global stakeholders will be essential in triggering effective actions at scale.

Our goals on climate change – and our work across the United Nations Development System to use MAPS (Mainstream, Accelerate, Policy Support) to achieve goals for Zero Hunger and Zero Poverty – all interconnect.

Reducing greenhouse gasses and protecting our environment will be central. Government-led efforts to reduce poverty, provide education and ensure no one is left behind are equally important.

And, because we live in the real world, where current rises in global temperatures and other climate impacts are already disrupting economies, displacing people and undermining sustainable development efforts, we need to take a real-world approach to climate action and the Paris Agreement by supporting countries to adapt to our changing climate.

The mandate for improved adaptation planning as articulated in the Paris Agreement is clear. Article 7.9 tells us: “Each Party shall, as appropriate, engage in adaptation planning processes and the implementation of actions, including the development or enhancement of relevant plans, policies and/or contributions.”

National Adaptation Plans support this mandate, and in effect, become the implementation arm for adaptation under NDCs.

What steps are being taken

UNDP’s support for National Adaptation Plans comes from several innovative programmes. These programmes provide broad-based support to National Adaptation Plans through our Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) with UN Environment, as well as specialized attention to specific sectors, such as agriculture, through our Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans Programme (NAP-Ag), a joint effort with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. These various programmes are funded through the Global Environment Facility, and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. UNDP also currently supports 41 nations in accessing dedicated Green Climate Fund (GCF) finance for National Adaptation Plans.

This work means that gender is being integrated into adaptation plans and supporting the peace process in Colombia. It means that decision makers in Thailand are better able to understand the costs-and-benefits of climate change adaptation initiatives and make better decisions. It means technical staff in government departments have access to tools and training to make agricultural policies that adapt to our changing climate. It means farmers and decision makers will be able to use climate information to build more effective food systems.

It will be easy to get lost on our way to low-emission climate-resilient development. By supporting countries worldwide in building more effective adaptation plans, our hope is that we will have a roadmap that connects information with action, policy with impact, and people with empowerment.